Welcome to the STC South Central Texas MiniConference page!

On Saturday, April 18, 2020 we will have a full day of online learning with live webinars and networking.


We have a full slate of presentations and speakers! Sessions will be recorded.

Full schedule:

8:30-8:50 am – Welcome and opening remarks
9-9:50 am – Jose Valdes: Single Sourcing with Microsoft Word and SharePoint
10-10:50 am – Kelly Schrank: Build a Better Checklist for Your Communications Tasks
11-11:50 am – Kirk St. Amant: Cognitive Aspects of Usability, Design, and Content
12-12:50 pm – Lunch and virtual networking
1-1:50 pm – Jack Molisani: The Top 10 Mistakes Content Professional Make When Looking for Work
2-2:50 pm – Shrie Spangler: Volunteer to Prevent Burnout
3-3:30 pm – Closing remarks

Jose Valdes: Single Sourcing with Microsoft Word and SharePoint

In this era of XML, dynamically generated webpages, and document management systems, MS Word users may feel left behind by technology. That’s a shame because Word is cool. It is a doc tool that allows users to build their own solutions instead of begging IT for help. This presentation will demonstrate how to strategically reuse content, leverage single edits into fixes for many documents, consider the benefits of VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), and allow technology to help you polishing and promote the best of your prose. Most importantly, it may help you to creatively explore the possibilities of the tools that you are already using.

About the speaker

A technical writer with successful experience in the energy and software industries. While studying at Carnegie Mellon University, he earned a master’s degree in professional writing (MAPW), a degree program specifically for technical documentation. Writes software programs/scripts that automate the publication process; exploits advanced, but seldom used features in common applications. As for single-sourcing with MS Word, over the past 14 years, Jose has developed an intricate network of dependencies among 40 manuals, which have hundreds of links to other image and text files.

Kelly Schrank: Build a Better Checklist for your Communications Tasks

Anyone writing, editing, or managing any type of communications for a living is feeling the crunch. There is less time to create and edit; more types and formats of content; more apps, software, and systems to learn. And we expect quality, accuracy, and consistency from ourselves because we take pride in our work. In this webinar, we’ll discuss how to address a multitude of modern dilemmas with a relatively old-school hack: a checklist.

Come to this webinar to learn how using a comprehensive checklist created and updated for a specific communication task can help you differentiate workflows, systems, and activities; spell out style and formatting details, track your progress, document metrics, and give you a sense of completion and peace of mind.

About the speaker

Kelly Schrank has been in technical and medical communication for over 20 years. Her business, Bookworm Editing Services, has two focuses: editing policies and procedures for information technology departments and formatting and editing formulary dossiers for pharmaceutical clients. She also edits manuscripts, proposals, marketing materials, slide decks, websites, training materials, and many other types of technical and medical documents.

Schrank is an Associate Fellow of STC and the current President of the STC Rochester Chapter, Co-Manager of the Technical Editing SIG, and the Marketing and Promotions Councilor for the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences (BELS).

Schrank has spoken about checklists, side gigs, Word, editing, and networking at regional and national STC conferences, in webinars, and the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) national conference.

Kirk St. Amant: Cognitive Aspects of Usability, Design and Context

The design of materials greatly affects how individuals use them to achieve objectives. These usability expectations can influence everything from reactions to page layouts to understanding images that exemplify a process. In this presentation, the speaker will examine cognitive aspects affecting how persons perceive, understand, and use informational and instructional materials in various settings. This presentation will examine:

  • The cognitive factors influencing how individuals identify and use objects
  • The role the setting in which items are used plays in such processes
  • The approaches technical communicators can use to research and identify these dynamics
  • The strategies technical communicators can use to address such factors when creating materials

About the speaker

Kirk St.Amant is a Professor and Eunice C. Williamson Endowed Chair in Technical Communication at Louisiana Tech University where he also serves as the Director of Tech’s Usability Studies Research Center and its Center for Health Communication.  Kirk is also an Adjunct Professor of International Health and Medical Communication with the University of Limerick in Ireland and Adjunct Professor of User Experience Design with the University of Strasbourg in France. He researches how cognition affects usability and design with a focus on international health and medical contexts and international online education.

Jack Molisani: The Top 10 Mistakes Content Professionals Make When Looking for Work

Have you ever submitted a resume for a position but weren’t called for an interview?  Or interviewed for a position you wanted but didn’t get? Chances are you made one or more mistakes that scuttled your chance of landing the job.

In this session, professional recruiter Jack Molisani will discuss the top 10 mistakes people make when looking for work (whether contract, permanent or consulting), with proactive tips on how to avoid these pitfalls and increase your chances of landing that next job or contract.

Want (or need) a new job?  Don’t miss this session!

About the speaker

Jack Molisani is the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in content professionals: http://ProspringStaffing.com

He’s the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement, which hit #5 on Amazon’s Career and Resume Best Seller list.

Jack also produces the LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Technical Communication Management, to be held in New Orleans 25-28 October 2020:  https://lavacon.org  

Shrie Spangler: Volunteer to prevent burnout

Burnout, stress, and disillusionment are all far too common in the tech industry. For those spinning their wheels trying every good practice in the book and still feeling like you will never again be truly engaged, effective, or positive at work a potential remedy – volunteering. During my short history as a Tech Writer thus far, volunteering my time to help others helped me stay somewhat sane during several years of rapid self-growth and juggling the ever-changing landscape of working in software development.

About the speaker

Shrie Spangler is a tech writer at Magento, an Adobe company, a co-organizer of the Austin, Texas Write the Docs meetup group, and an advocate for community and the open-source way.

Shrie is also an avid community volunteer, hand stitcher, prolific fiction reader, lover of the em dash, and all-around mystery maker.


The MiniConference will be held online via GoToMeeting. The link will be emailed to all registrants before the conference.


  • $5.00 – Students and New Members
  • $15.00 STC Members
  • $30.00 – NonMembers

Please register using the form below.

Attendee Name
Email Address

2 thoughts on “STC SoCenTx 2020 Online MiniConference

  1. Looking forward to this!
    Is there an agenda with times for each session? Will a recording be made available afterwards?

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